elearning Project planning and Scheduling

I lead a small elearing team for an electric utility.  We run about 120 projects or more a year (new development and major updates of current lessons)  Years ago I had a excel tool that was created by the insurance industry for calculating the time/resources it took for elearning development.

I am wondering if anybody out there that has a similar tool that they are using now for projecting development time and any tool you might use for scheduling and tracking work. 

Thanks

Steve Stone

Duke Energy

10 Replies
Eric Nalian

Hi Steve,

I currently use 2 differernt tools.

  1. My To Do list (I am a development team of 1): I use a iPad app called 'Smart Pad, I can create projects with subtasks and assign times to each one.
  2. Public list - I have a short and sweet excel spreadsheet for my Training Committee to track my progress

For larger group projects, we have used SharePoint.  You can create projects/tasks in there on a shared calendar, and also check in/out files.

Eric Nalian

When I started at the company I am at right now, our IT stuff was in the past century...we went through a huge IT Overhaul, and by the end of this year/early next year, a lot of our departments are going to be paperless!

The technology stuff seems impossible to keep up with.  To try and stay current with every single tech development is crazy...

Jay Lambert

I am hoping someone will share a good projection tool here; I also still use Excel for that.

As for scheduling and tracking projects, I really enjoy http://www.5pmweb.com/. It's inexpensive, but offers a lot of features for smaller teams, including task assignment, time tracking, file sharing, email notification of messages, and a searchable history of project communications. 

Debra OConnell

After checking out various software vendors (including some of those mentioned earlier), we recently settled on www.clarizen.com. We've been using it for a few weeks now and are so far happy with our choice. Right now we are focused on getting our time tracking straight so that we can continue gathering our design/development metrics (which we used to do in a home grown system). Next we are looking to take better advantage of the resource/project planning features so we can get better at projections and calculating 'what if' scenarios. Not quite there yet, but definitely feel that we can get there with this tool.

Deb

Kimberly Read

Hi Steve, I use MS Project. It has the projection capabilities you are wanting. I also like how it allows you to assign resources. I assign SMEs to review project artifacts regularly. If they don't review them, in our next meeting we take a look at the project plan together so they can better understand why/how the project is then running behind schedule. SME review tends to be the task that makes our projects late.

One downside of MS Project is that you must have the software in order to open a project plan file. So for SMEs, I have create a PDF for status updates.

Anyway, I'm attaching an example of the tasks and time lengths for a curriculum project I'm working on. I pretty much use this same project plan over and over again but I customize the length of time for tasks to the project. For example, if the course requires a lot of interactivity I lengthen the development time. Or if there are many SMEs all over the organization that need to review the course, I lengthen the reviews times (and say a prayer, kidding). I hope this is helpful to you.